Books & Text

routledge companion to remix studies
Routledge Companion to Remix Studies

December 2014
Routledge Companion to Remix Studies
Ed. by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, and xtine burrough, Routledge

The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies comprises contemporary texts by key authors and artists who are active in the emerging field of remix studies. As an organic international movement, remix culture originated in the popular music culture of the 1970s, and has since grown into a rich cultural activity encompassing numerous forms of media.

The act of recombining pre-existing material brings up pressing questions of authenticity, reception, authorship, copyright, and the techno-politics of media activism. This book approaches remix studies from various angles, including sections on history, aesthetics, ethics, politics, and practice, and presents theoretical chapters alongside case studies of remix projects. The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies is a valuable resource for both researchers and remix practitioners, as well as a teaching tool for instructors using remix practices in the classroom. Visit the book’s companion website for more information.


Foundations of Digital Art and Design, New Riders
Foundations of Digital Art and Design with Adobe Creative Cloud

August 2013
Foundations of Digital Art and Design
xtine burrough, New Riders

Foundations of Digital Art and Design combines lessons in Bauhaus-inspired design principles and theories with histories and examples of digital art for learners using the Adobe Creative Suite. The text is organized into six topical sections including (1) Bits, Pixels, and Vectors (2) Digital Photography, (3) Digital Manipulation and Free Fair Use, (4) Typography, (5) Website elements, and (6) Effective Work Habits. Section introductions emphasize art and design concepts and chapter exercises explain the craft of design, spanning the software programs Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

Learners can download bonus chapters, work files, and find links to a series of screencasts made specifically for the book on the companion website,

Foundations of Digital Art and Design follows Burrough’s co-authored Digital Foundations and Visual Communication on the Web. All three books transform software training into a learning activity where fundamental design principles are synthesized with basic methodologies in Adobe Creative Suite applications.


keep calm and carry on in pixels
From footnote 21: Remaining quiet and immobile creates a mass audience that remains passive and more easily manipulated.

Fall 2013
“On Death Brands and Dying Branding”
xtine burrough in Chapman University’s Design Symposium Journal

My article for Chapman University’s first design journal, “On Death Brands and Dying Branding” is a selective remix of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book On Death and Dying. The words “brand” and “branding” are substituted in salient quotes from Kübler-Ross’ text for the words “death” and “dying.” The Swiss-born psychiatrist developed her “5 Stages of Grief” hypothesis to help the medical industry understand the emotional processes undergone by patients suffering from terminal illnesses. By substituting “brand/branding” for Kübler-Ross’ primary target (death/dying), I suggest a culture in which brands and branding are the norm will enact a process of grieving akin to that of the terminally ill.

“On Death Brands and Dying Branding” appears on pages 39-47, but the bulk of the investigation is within the footnotes, pages 44-7.

The journal is a beautiful, hard-cover issue that also includes contributions from Brittany Rosenblatt, selections from the 2013 Orange County Design Awards, Iridium Group, and Armin Vit.


Visual Communication on the Web Cover
Visual Communication on the Web

December 2012
Visual Communication on the Web
xtine burrough and Paul Martin Lester, Routledge

Most web design books developed for the trade market are a series of exercises without a theoretical, aesthetic, or historic framework. In this book, Visual Communication on the Web,web design exercises are accompanied by concise introductions that relate history, design principles, and visual communication theories to the practice of designing for the web.

Specifically, Visual Communication on the Web teaches the reader to develop one dynamic web page over the course of 14 chapters. Exercises build upon each other so the reader creates and revises the work while learning new code or tools. Predictable mistakes are purposely included so that readers learn how to ‘fix’ the project while working on it—a much-needed skill for anyone interested in coding. By the end of this course-in-a-book, readers will have created a web page with a centered container div, a Lightbox image gallery, and an external style sheet using HTML, CSS, and copy-pasted and modified code.

The Interactive eTextbook provides concise videos of burrough detailing some of the more complex step-by-step instructions and original chapter introductions by Lester. Users of the eTextbook may also engage in a traditional assessment exercise to test their knowledge of new material. For those who aren’t reading electronically, many of these resources are freely available on the blog,

With its easy to follow instruction and witty introductions, Visual Communication on the Web makes an excellent companion to xtine burrough’s Digital Foundations and Net Works as well as Paul Martin Lester’s Visual Communication: Images with Messages.


holden and the dancing baby

“Let’s Go Crazy: Lenz V. Universal in the New Media Classroom”
Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, 2012
xtine burrough and Dr. Emily Erickson

My article, co-authored with Dr. Emily Erickson, was recently published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. I have been working with students on remixes and parodies of Stephanie Lenz’s original Let’s Go Crazy #1 video on YouTube since 2008. Our class created a website for the project, and other classes (on-campus and at other universities) have joined in the fun. This was a long process, but I am really excited to have this article in-hand (or online). Thank you to Dr. Erickson, who did a stellar job in sorting out the law, and to so many students for creating these goofy videos.

Article Abstract:

This article examines the Lenz v. Universal case, demonstrating how it can serve as a unique vehicle to teach students about fair use and the creative transformation of copyrighted content. The authors—a visual communications professor and a media law professor—discuss the ways the Lenz case highlights a gap between First Amendment rights found within fair use doctrine and current practices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They argue that what Lawrence Lessig calls today’s “remix culture” makes it imperative to provide students with a strong grounding in both copyright and fair use, as well as a savvy understanding of how copyright owners are approaching unauthorized uses of online content.


Net Works cover image
Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design

July 2011
Net Works: Case Studies of Web Art and Design
Ed. by xtine burrough, Routledge 2011

 Net Works offers an inside look into the process of successfully developing thoughtful, innovative digital media. In many practice-based art texts and classrooms, technology is divorced from the socio-political concerns of those using it. Although there are many resources for media theorists, practice-based students sometimes find it difficult to engage with a text that fails to relate theoretical concerns to the act of creating. Net Works strives to fill that gap.

Using websites as case studies, each chapter introduces a different style of web project–from formalist play to social activism to data visualization–and then includes the artists’ or entrepreneurs’ reflections on the particular challenges and outcomes of developing that web project. Scholarly introductions to each section apply a theoretical frame for the projects. A companion website offers further resources for hands-on learning.

Combining practical skills for web authoring with critical perspectives on the web, Net Works is ideal for courses in new media design, art, communication, critical studies, media and technology, or popular digital/internet culture.

November 2010
Collage Offline and Add Color Using Photoshop: Photoshop expert xtine burrough shows you how to make a collage with scissors and glue before adding color in Photoshop. An adjustment layer is used to create a sepia tone on the digital file, and the Brush Tool is used in combination with blending modes and a low opacity for an easy application of color to separate layers.

October 2010
Create a PDF Portfolio Using Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator’s multiple Artboards feature saves some students and professionals the time it takes to learn a new software program. In this article, a multi-page PDF portfolio—an essential document for students and professionals alike—is created in Illustrator. If you’ve never used InDesign, but you need to make a multi-page document, author xtine burrough explains how this process is just what you need.

August 2010
Using Photoshop Actions to Make a Flipbook
: xtine burrough interprets the Photoshop Actions panel as a metaphor for artificial intelligence, comparing Photoshop tasks that can be automated with tasks mandating human collaboration. The final result is a template for making a flipbook.

May 2010
To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop
: How do you answer a student who begins a design or digital imaging class with the question, “Are we gonna learn Photoshop in this class?” In this article, the question is re-addressed to the student: “Why do you need Photoshop when so much can be accomplished in the camera using formal compositional properties?” xtine burrough explains a recent assignment based on’s popular article, “15 Images You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped.”


Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design

December 2009
Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite
xtine burrough and Michael Mandiberg

This book will always be available on the wiki site, for FREE! Digital Foundations: Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite integrates the formal principles of the Bauhaus Basic Course into an introduction to digital media production with the Adobe Creative Suite.The entire book is available on the wiki under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC) license.

Kate Armstrong wrote an excellent review of Digital Foundations for Fillip, a publication of art, culture, and ideas released three times a year by the Projectile Publishing Society from Vancouver, British Columbia.


Spring 2008
Couchsurfing, Delocator and Fallen Fruit: Websites Respond to a Crisis of Democracy
This article explores the three web sites in relationship to democracy. It is included in the double issue of The Journal of Media and Culture, titled “Vote” and “Citizen”. Collected in the “Vote” area of the issue, edited by Graham Mielke, this essay situates the Delocator project in the datasphere as a reaction to overt control by the corporate media. This is one of my favorite peer-reviewed academic journals.

Fall 2007
They are never easy to write, but here was one attempt, anyhow, at an Artist Statement I wrote, collected in “New Media Artist Statements 2007.” The statements were published in Media_N: Journal of the New Media Caucus, v.03, n.01.

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